Report by Stuart Gleeson.
Thomas Hackett & his supporters met me at Dover Marina at 0230. I gave the usual safety briefing & as CSA Observer Sam Jones confirmed the details of the rules, Stuart Adams & I steered Sea Leopard out of Dover Harbour towards Samphire Hoe. Thomas made his start at 0332.
As is usual, it took a few hours for the swimmer to feel entirely comfortable: the anticipation in the days & weeks beforehand & the adrenaline of the occassion all contribute to nerves. Support from those on board always makes a difference & today was no different.
We entered the Sou'West lane at 0615 as the cameras came out to take in the Sunrise. Good progress despite Thomas feeling negative, we made the Separation zone by 0850 & into the North East lane at 0932. A few painkillers & some kind words from his sea weary supporters later & it was soon time for Elizabeth to enter the sea to swim in to Tardighen beach in France.
An excellent swim, well done: 12hrs 52minutes.